About Me

My photo
Four years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Clever title goes here.

Long day, good day. Steadily productive at work. Came home to all kinds of crazy-good food. Hemmed Beloved’s white trousers and am hoping I guessed right at the length. We pin-basted while he stood on a stool. Then I pin-basted some more, and he tried them back on, and we decided they needed to be a little longer. So I moved the pins, and then I hand-hemmed the pants, and if they’re not quite right, they go to an alterations dude with more experience hemming men’s pants than I have, or want to have.

I don’t do alterations. It is a measure of how besotted I am, that I hemmed them cheerfully. How could I not, when he has steadily been turning the guest bathroom into something amazingly wonderful? I walk in there, and even with the inner door molding removed, my heart just sings.

I need to decide on a color for the molding (currently it is either dark peach, or brown), because I want to carry that color throughout the house as we repaint from room to room. And I think a rich warm cream will play nicely against the vivid colors and the possible jewel tones that will follow.

I have mentioned how fond of the snooze alarm is my beloved. He is also fond of his digital timer, which bleats annoyingly, as opposed to my happy little ladybug timer, which rings properly, long and loud and once, and then is done. We tease one another about our timer preferences. Tonight he was timing something using the ladybug. I applauded his wisdom. He retorted that he still preferred his timer as being less annoying. I commented that I was discovering a pattern: he likes to hit the snooze alarm in our room, and he likes the digital timer, which (like many microwaves) sounds periodically until it is turned off. I wondered aloud if it felt like hitting the snooze alarm while cooking, and if the ultimate test of doneness was either a charred lump or the obbligato of a smoke alarm?

He harrumphed that he’s never scorched dinner in his life (I will have to ask his boys about that). I knew better than to claim the same.

I need another day between now and tomorrow morning. I suspect I will not get it. And I suspect that tomorrow will be a Cherry Coke day, as it is nearly 11:00 with no sign of our going to bed anytime soon. No idea what I want to wear to work tomorrow, and I have yet to put my temple bag by the front door. My hands want to knit, my brain wants to write, and my eyes want to call it a day.

I wonder what causes eyeballs and eyelids to ache when one has had enough? All I know is that I love the sensation of melting sideways into the mattress, easing into my nighttime breathing, and feeling the world spin away from inside my eyelids.

“Captain America” is almost over, out in the living room. Beloved has Really Good Speakers. I think a tank just ran over my right foot...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Look, Ma! No moustache!

Beloved has shaved off his moustache, and the beard he has been growing since we wed, because he starts training as a temple worker on Friday; the policy/preference is that male temple workers be clean-shaven. (There are exceptions, for those who have distracting skin conditions or facial deformities. I am rooting for the chemo rash.) He looks a bit like (a very tall) Michael Caine. He has a nicely shaped upper lip. I am just not used to seeing it. And there is the vague suspicion, when we smooch, that I am cheating on my husband!

We got something like eight hours of sleep last night. I woke a little ahead of the alarm, hands itching to knit. Lunch is packed, and dinner as well. Hard to believe, but it is Knit Night already. We are waiting to hear back from some of the kids. One of my new daughters has a birthday today, and a family party will trump Knit Night with no grumbling from me. Her present is up on the hutch if they opt for a drive-by gifting.

I heard aerosol whooshing in the master bathroom a few minutes ago. The man who sounds like my husband is about to emerge and fix our breakfast.

Thankfully, he also kisses like my husband. I guess he can stay...

Monday, May 28, 2012

Up to my ears in yummy goodness.

Of all sorts. Finished the front of the first chair cushion this morning and have about two and a half inches done on the first back. Still in love with the yarn, just taking a wee break to let dinner settle while Beloved watches a movie that involves neither singing nor dancing. Something to do with WWII and perfectly apropos for this holiday, just not my thang.

We fed the missionaries a couple of hours ago: smoked/baked/barbecued ribs with his own custom rib rub and an amazing glaze. I ate about half of one rib, a serving and a half of potato salad, some of the best baked beans ever, the usual steamed-veggie suspects (delicious as always), watermelon, and for dessert? I baked a batch of Ghirardelli brownies in little tart pans, and Beloved made raspberry/strawberry sorbet that is to store-bought as East Coast Swing is to frog-in-a-blender. I think we outdid ourselves.

The bathroom is half painted, and it looks terrific so far. There are a few little spots that need touching up, but between us we have it pretty well covered. I think we are probably too tired to do another wall tonight. I am weaving a little, here at the keyboard, between sentences.

I bought two new watches this morning, using gift cards. My sister gave me a lovely watch several years ago, but it is still in a box in the middle bedroom, and I really need one for when I am teaching Primary, as the classroom does not have a clock. It is far more discreet to glance at my wrist than to pull my phone out of my pocket during class. One watch has a mixed-metal band and bezel; the other is silver(ish) with a white leather(ish) band and will go into my temple bag.

I like my students. Three lovely girls and a handsome and blessedly quiet boy. There are two others on the roll for whom I am also responsible, and once I get my bearings I will see if we can get them to start coming to church, dragging their parental units behind them.

The first batch of dishes is humming away in the dishwasher. It is not quite 8:00p.m., and I am ready to sleep. Time to tote everything that got taken out of the bathroom (in order to paint) and put onto the dining room table and then onto our bed, back out to the dining room.

It has been a good weekend. Wishing that it were a four-day instead of three, but I will have a bit of vacation in three weeks.

Beloved has an appointment with New Oncologist on the 15th. One of our friends sees that doctor and swears by him. Which is far better than swearing at him, which is what we would like to do with the current one.

Taking my happily weary self offline and seeing if Beloved is ready to call it a day.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Severely Punished

So, I am going with Beloved to his family reunion, held locally, in a few weeks. We received two envelopes: one for him to vote for something-or-other in the family organization, and one with the registration paperwork. I mailed off both envelopes from my office.

The relative [presumably a cousin] who is in charge of the registration paperwork has an unusual given name. Sufficiently unusual that were I to spell it out, it would identify her as one of a handful of individuals in the United States with that name. [Yes, I consulted the Google and Thummim.] So I will simply say that in number of syllables, and in how they are stressed, it brought to mind a certain song, which led to a brief but sidesplitting ~ at least to me ~ parody that I then PM’d to Beloved.

“[Cousin’s Name] is not my cousin,
She’s just the one
To whom we send in the forms,
But the clan won’t stay in dorms.”

Kept me grinning, and awake, for the rest of the afternoon. Not an easy task, since I had nothing more to do, and another hour and a half in which to not-do it. I hope it brightened Beloved’s day while he was sitting in the chemo chair yesterday. [I take my job as class clown quite seriously!]

We got to leave an hour early today, and to wear tennis shoes to work. I am immensely thankful, as I was running out of knee high hose to wear with my skirts and didn’t want to shell out for more before payday. When I got home, there was a quick catch-breath and then we hopped in Lorelai for a quick trip to Home Depot.

We have paint stirring sticks, an attachment that will fit into his drill for some power-stirring, a fresh roll of blue painters tape, and an assortment of medium-quality brushes. After dinner we will slap some color onto the walls so that I can figure out which one I want to live with for the next fifteen years. And then he will first repaint the ceiling, after which we will tackle the walls.

I found some mosaic tiles I like, for eventually redoing the tub surround (not critical; there are a couple of tiles that have broken and been properly patched, so we are talking aesthetics rather than function. And I found ceramic flooring tiles that we both liked, that are inexpensive but not cheap.

We will have to call in the kids at that point. Beloved has the expertise and the strength, but I think the neuropathy in his hands will play hob with his using a tile cutter. And I barely had the strength to wrangle one 25 years ago, when we redid the bathroom in the house in Irving. We will get enough tile to do both bathrooms, and maybe the entryway as well. There was a rich neutral marble tile I liked, but to him it just looked dirty, so no.

Right now he is pan-frying hamburgers and baking sweet potato fries for dinner. After which I will put on my painting clothes and prepare to put swathes of color on the wall, for pondering over the next couple of days. We are hoping to do the actual repainting on Monday before feeding the elders. The smell of fresh paint does not bother me.

They carry a stain that might work well for refinishing the cabinet under the sink. We definitely need a new sink (but the bathtub looks fine to me), and he has a box with a new faucet and handles (which I have yet to inspect for aesthetics; as Ms. Scarlett was wont to say, tomorrow is another day).

We will take before and after pictures.

And Beloved has an appointment with a new oncologist (in the system) three weeks from today.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Forgot to mention

After I went shopping for the accessories with my gift card, I went over to Hobby Lobby (at the suggestion of Beloved, who informed me that they were having a 40% off sale on baskets) to see if I could pick up anything for the shelving unit in the kitchen. I did. Six anythings, and at 50% off. They are now filled (five of them before I left for work yesterday) and in their new home.

I did not quite finish off that ball of yarn yesterday. It is quite likely to happen before work. Today is Big Chemo, and we will be leaving in half an hour to take Beloved off to assume-the-position.

We also got our referral to a different oncologist, one in our system, and Beloved will be calling for an appointment when he comes home today.

In other news, we are firing off our registration for the family reunion which will take place next month. The fun starts on that Thursday night, so I will be requesting it off from the temple. As we are now fully-staffed on Thursday nights, that should not present a problem.

My temple bag and lunch are packed. My knitting is next to its bag. I have one quick note to write, and then I need to figure out what I will be wearing to work.

Oh, when I got home from Knit Night with the bling and the baskets, you will never guess what Beloved was watching? Dancing with the Stars, and rooting for the football player. Do not ask for his man-card: the guy is a Green Bay Packer. Beloved was just being true to his school.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Not 28.3495231g of sympathy.

Anonymous Spammer offered this comment yesterday: “When I initially commented I appear to have clicked the ‘Notify me when new comments are added’ checkbox and now whenever a comment is added I recieve [sic] 4 emails with the same comment. There has to be an easy method you can remove me from that service? Thanks!”

So. Not. My. Problem. Gotta love it when a spammer gets spammed! (I was amused to find his/her comment in my spam-comment filter when I logged on this morning. This is the primary reason that I have comment moderation.) Karma, as they say, is an exceedingly disagreeable wench.

I had fun spending my Mother’s Day gift card after work last night. A pair of earrings with orange gingham ribbon or fabric glued to them. As I have three orange dressy/layering T-shirts that get regular wear, I am over the moon!

A purple headband with artsy fabric flowers and minimal bling. I have a couple of shirts where that will work.

And a card with three pairs of faux pearl earrings, since I cannot seem to make time to properly re-glue that other pair onto its backing (but I know where the E-6000 and earrings are: in a sandwich bag in a bookcase in the dining room, with Col. Mustard and the lead pipe). One pair of white pearls, one pair of rosy purple pearls, and one pair of bronzy-purplish pearls that I think will tone perfectly with the Moebius scarf from my birthday yarn

Now all I have to do is decide which shirt I want to wear this morning.

Much happy knitting yesterday. I am nearly ready to spit-splice the fifth ball of yarn into the pillow top. Four balls. Doesn’t that equal a walk?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The cat is on my list.

He was talking to me. I thought he wanted to go out. I opened the front door. He sat there, muttering at me, while a moth the size of Cincinnati flew straight at my mouth, then over my head.

I went to the pantry and grabbed the flyswatter. The evil moth was lurking on the ceiling in the hall. I took a mighty swing but only grazed him. He flew off to parts unknown.

I took my knitting into the bathroom for safekeeping, plugged my phone into the charger, and shut the door.

The cat yowled again. Beloved opened the back door, and the cat sauntered outside.

I hope he got eaten by a moth.

(P.S. In knitting news, the additional yarn came from Knit Picks. Same dye lot. Knit Picks, unlike our cat, rocks!)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Fun with four year olds.

Newsflash! I had fun getting to know M. the Marauder a little better last night. He and his grandpa are almost out the door to go fishing. I abstained from breakfast, as that table is perfect for two but not so much for three. I did get another nice visit with M. this morning. Thankfully, he is cheerful when he wakes, and he listens when reminded* not to pet the cat while the cat is eating his own breakfast, and he noticed that the cat needed fresh water in his bowl.

Grandpa and grandson are out the door. Breakfast time, and then I need to get ready for work. We are having visitors from other offices all week, so I will be wearing skirts and dress slacks rather than a nice shirt plus jeans. (I love it that I work in a legal office and get to wear jeans pretty much any time I choose. I also like dressing up.)

Lots of knitting progress after we got home from the stake meeting yesterday, notwithstanding that I spent several hours sorting through the rubber stamps and organizing them in a way that makes sense to me. The holiday stamps are together, as are the flora, the fauna, the humans, food, et al. Sixteen drawers full of rubber stamps. Another time I will count up how many there are. But it’s safe to say that our net worth increased significantly yesterday.



Can’t wait to see this movie!

*When I was a little girl, Dad and his brother ran a feed-and-seed store. There was a silo for the farmers to store their wheat for shipping, and there was food for all sorts of critters: chickens, rabbits, cats, dogs, etc. There was also a big, black, grumpy cat named George. We did not have a cat at home, because my mother was allergic, so he fascinated me. Mom told me never to pet him when he was eating. One day I did. He scratched a perfect “L” in the palm of my left hand. I cried. I got no sympathy. (I did get my hand washed, and Mercurochrome™ on the scratch, and a bandaid.) M. the Marauder is a better listener than I was.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

How many General Authorities does it take...

We had a special stake meeting this morning. Individual wards were assigned to attend specific meetinghouses. We knew there would be two of the church leadership here to do something, but nobody, including our bishop, knew exactly what, only that it would affect three stakes. Our best guess (Beloved’s and mine) was that stake boundaries would be changing.

And how! Salt Lake sent two General Authorities, who removed five units from our stake and one each from two other stakes, and created a new stake with seven units. We lost approximately 36% of our stake membership. Another way to look at it is that the new stake gained approximately 70% of its membership from our stake, with the other 30% coming from the other two stakes. And it explains why friends in the other stakes affected did not know anything about it, as only the two wards that would be shifting, were requested to attend. We still have ten units in our stake, which had 15 units and something like 5500 members of record.

This will reduce driving distances for members in what had been outlying wards, and it will give more people opportunities for leadership.

We are home, have eaten sandwiches and a couple of Fig Newtons, and are about to unload the cabinet with a bajillion rubber stamps out of Lorelai's back seat. I need to get the stamps sorted by topic and arranged in ways that make sense to me, and then the cabinet turned against the wall before M. the Marauder comes to spend the night so he can go fishing with his grandpa and his aunt C. tomorrow morning. This will be the first grandchild to spend the night since Beloved and I were married.

TV’s on. One of the food channels. I asked Beloved this morning if we got HGTV. He says yes. Equal time, anybody? He reminded me that some of those shows involve the outdoors, hence the G. I told him that I was only interested in the H, thank you very much. Lucy vindicated me this morning.

I got a lot of knitting done while at the stake center, as Beloved had been asked to help usher. So we left the house at 8:34 (let the record show that *I* was ready to leave at 8:29)

The piano recital was lovely yesterday. On the way home we picked up the rubber stamps, and I ran Beloved past several places I lived, including Mardi Gras 24/7 and La Casa Cucaracha, both of which appear to have had facelifts since we moved out. Nobody has moved into the duplex as near as I can tell.

This is the part where I am either heading out to the living room to watch Iron Man 2, or staying in here and taking a nap. Could go either way...

Saturday, May 19, 2012

I’ll go where You want me to go ... just not *there*, please!

We have a hymn at church about becoming a disciple. The chorus goes like this:

I’ll go where You want me to go, dear Lord,
Over mountain or plain or sea.
I’ll say what You want me to say, dear Lord,
I’ll be what You want me to be.

It’s all about the process. There was only ever one perfect Being on this earth, and most of our ancestors who knew Him or knew of Him, didn’t like Him very much when He was here. (He, of course, gets the last laugh, because He loved, and loves, us anyway.) We stumble along after Him, sometimes mindfully and willingly, sometimes seemingly by happenstance.

I have had two little wrestles with obedience in recent weeks. The first when they asked me to learn how to be an ordinance coordinator in the temple, in an area I love but do not feel I have sufficient mastery over my own knowledge, and I regretfully declined. It’s not that I didn’t think that the temple presidency and the shift coordinators were inspired; it’s that there is so much going on in my life and inside my head, that doesn’t make it onto the blog, and at that point I was feeling more than a little strung-out.

And then, Sunday before last, one of the members of the bishopric popped his head over my shoulder in Sunday School and grinned that he needed to talk to me. He had a sleeping baby tucked into one shoulder; how could I resist? Especially a sleeping baby that the young women in our ward call Cheese Boy because his given names are similar to two of my favorite cheeses?

So I followed the good brother into a vacant classroom, where he asked me, “So, you like to teach? How’s it going in Relief Society?”

“Love it, although I’m not teaching as effectively as I would like, but I’m working on it.”

“Good! We would like to release you from teaching Relief Society and call you to teach Primary.”

At which point I quietly burst into tears. I wonder how often they get that reaction?

While I like individual children very much, especially my grandchildren and those I have come to know on a one-to-one basis (such as the kids in my Primary class when I lived in Fort Worth), after rearing so many short people in so little space, I get twitchy if you put me in a room and surround me with hordes of them.

I told him what I told one of my bishops in Arlington, that just because I have kids, doesn’t mean that I like kids. It’s more complicated than that. Several of my children have significant challenges. Notwithstanding their reassurances that I have turned out to be a good mother overall, the fear that some of those challenges might be my fault, weighs on me. That life might have been simpler for them if I had done things differently. So there is that, and the simple weariness of a body that surprises me every few months with a new normal that is less than I would like, and concern about Beloved’s fight with cancer (with the related desire to spend virtually every waking minute at his side, willing him to get well).

Add to this the covenants I have made throughout my life, to follow after the Savior as best I can from day to day. If I raise my hand to sustain the bishop, and he calls me to do something that I don’t want to do, and I refuse merely because Idawanna, how is that sustaining him? I told his counselor that I didn’t want to do this, but that it didn’t mean I was refusing to do so. I would need to counsel with my husband and pray over it. This is a big change from my younger years, when I reflexively said that I would do whatever I was asked, and just rolled with the consequences.

I don’t have so much roll in me nowadays. But I thought about it for two and a half days, and I talked it over with Beloved, who said he would support me whatever I decided (and, blessedly, did not offer to make the decision for me), and on that Tuesday night I called the counselor and told him, “You win.” He wanted more of an explanation than that.

One of the things that occurred to me in the mulling-over process was that there might be one child who needed what I would bring to the calling. Or maybe I needed one particular child in my life, at this time. But the kicker was the gentle whisper, again and again, that Heavenly Father trusts me with these kids. And as it says in the scriptures, what better answer can I have, than from God?

Oh rats, I’m sniffling again.

Responding to my daughter’s comment re: Mother’s Day, that she didn’t call because she figured it would just irritate me more. Beloved says, “That would have been a reason to call!” He is all about comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable, which is one of the reasons we get on so well.

Crazy day ahead of us. I/we need to empty out Lorelai’s trunk so we can put Beloved’s mom’s suitcase in there when we take her to the airport. She is visiting the other sibs for a couple of weeks and checking in for the clinical trial in which she is participating. And then we are heading to Fort Worth for the Bitties’ piano recital. I have a better map than I did a year ago, and we are building in extra time because I don’t know that suburb. My yarn is already packed.

Friday, May 18, 2012

A beautiful day in Ms. Ravelled’s neighborhood.

Woke up on the right side of the dirt, as one of my friends would say. Reconciled both checkbooks, paid nearly 10% off on one of our debts (!!!), tanked Lorelai, knitted at stoplights, and still got to work on time.

All of my to-do’s are to-done, and I am waiting for 5:00 when my very own handsome prince will pick me up in the blue steed to head out to dinner with Best Friend and her hubby. We will leave Lorelai in the parking garage here and pick her up on the way home.

Tomorrow we get to hear the Bitties in concert. This will be BittyBit’s second piano recital, and BittyBubba’s first. Their teacher normally doesn’t take four year olds (she prefers to wait until they are six, if I remember correctly), but he is so passionate about music that he won her over.

Can’t. Wait.

We are in process of getting a new oncologist and a new treatment venue. The nurse at his PCP’s office is fantastic, and I can’t wait to meet her (which I probably will in the next couple of weeks). The new doctor/setting is close to home, which will save wear and tear on Beloved, not to mention the vehicles.

This is the part where I casually mention how much I am loving the alpaca yarn I am knitting up. Almost ready to spit-splice ball number three. That may very well happen before I go to bed tonight.

And one of my friends has some (presumably rubber) stamps that belonged to her sister. Am I interested? Absolutely! Where will I put them? In the studio. Somewhere.

Can you get Beanitos where you live? They are black bean chips (with a little rice), and while they leave Beloved cold, I think they are pretty amazing. Especially if you bring a single portion of Wholly Guacamole in which to dip them, and eat them as dessert at lunchtime.

Let the weekend beginnnnnnn!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

More excellent customer service.

I got notice yesterday that the second installment of yarn from Knit Picks was on its way. No word as to whether they were able to match the dye lot. But I know what to do if they weren’t.

And I got a call from an investigator with the state licensing board, over my complaint about the nail salon where I got athlete’s foot. They will be doing a complete sweep of the salon, and I will get a copy of the report, and did I have anything else to add that maybe I had forgotten when I filled out their form? And this is my investigator’s name, and I have her phone number, and please call if I have any questions or further information.

I don’t like being a tattle-tale. However, this is my health, and other people’s health, and I’m significantly more feisty about that than I was when I was a sprout, especially since Beloved needs no additional challenges to his immune system.

The knitting continues to be pure bliss. And I need to go get ready for work, because today is chemo-lite, and I’m dropping Beloved off at the hospital on my way to work.

We are in the process of finding new providers for his cancer treatment. Which reminds me that I promised to look up the names of some doctors his primary care physician’s office gave us.  Later, gators!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Thou shalt not beat thyself up.

To my beloved children (as opposed to my Beloved children, LOL): Thou shalt not beat thyself up. You know the drill in our tribe!!! Mother’s Day makes your mother a wee bit nuts. [That may be an understatement.] The Beloved children did not know that. They did as they were reared, and yes it was lovely, and no, you are not bums for (mostly) doing as you have been reared. And in this situation, my opinion is the only one that matters. So there too now.

The knitting continues. Never enough of it in a given day, given this luscious yarn I am working with. I used some of our wedding money and ordered another fifteen balls of it (because I had no idea how many I would need, so I ordered ten the first go-round); having fixed upon cables as the pattern of choice, and having gotten to the end of the first ball, my better estimate is that each pillow front will take about five and a half balls, and then there are the pillow backs to consider. I am hoping that KnitPicks will be able to send me fifteen balls in the same dye lot. If not, the mismatch will get taken care of on the pillow backs, where it will be less noticeable.

The thank-you notes are done. Well, all but one where I need an address, and I may just write the note and hand it off to the new son whose friends gave us the gift and let him hand it over in person. And a couple for the shower the ward threw me, but I’m not sure I can get to the bag that holds those cards. But basically, I’m done, and have deleted that spreadsheet with a no longer guilty conscience. [The list for the ward bridal shower is on my computer. The one which is still in pieces in the middle bedroom and will be until we know where my mother-in-love will be moving, and when.] Although my mom is no doubt spinning in her grave considering how long this has taken me.

We are almost ready to start repainting the guest bathroom. Color me excited! And if you will all kindly excuse me, I need to roust Beloved and get him on the road and myself ready for work. Ruminations on my new church calling will have to wait for another day. Thankfully, tonight is the first in several in which there are no obligations outside our home. Writing may happen. Knitting will definitely happen.

Again: thou shalt not beat thyself up!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Umm, yeah, I missed you too!

It’s been crazier than usual around here. One mad blur since Thursday or thereabouts.

The Eagle court of honor was lovely and simple and moving, as it should have been. He is a fine young man, and I suspect he will do well on his mission. He leaves in two weeks for the Missionary Training Center.

Saturday? Well, Saturday I had fun at a Stampin’ Up party hosted by one friend, and I saw several things I would like to have, someday, when the studio is impeccably arranged and I might have some idea where said new things would fit. Meanwhile, I had fun.

From there I went to Michael’s and bought four baskets at 40% off. They have taken up residence on the shelving in the kitchen, where they corral the foil, saran wrap, et al, and the majority of the pasta, and two other categories of things that escape my mind at the moment. Just trust me that the shelving unit is starting to look on-purpose and more than marginally organized.

Beloved had said on Friday night, shortly before we crashed, that he wanted to take the last dibs and dabs of food storage out of what is theoretically the linen closet, just outside the guest bathroom, so that we could insert the clean, folded towels that were beginning to tower atop one of the dressers in our bedroom. I woke up at dark-thirty, as usual, and quietly (we will not say surreptitiously) removed said food storage and put it on the breakfast table, where one or both of us would have to deal with it. I then had a bowl of cereal and went to the Stampin’ Up party. When I returned from that and the foray into Michael’s, Beloved had arranged the additional food storage quite neatly on the shelving unit. I left the new baskets on the breakfast table (do you detect a pattern here?) and headed over to the LDS bookstore to pick up a gift certificate for the woman who does Beloved’s taxes, and to get my ring its six-month checkup.

When I got home again, he had filled all four baskets and placed them neatly on the shelving unit. It really looks fantastic in there. When one of the boys saw it after church on Sunday, he said, “Holy crap! I mean, wow does that look great!”

New broom, very discreetly sweeping clean. That would be me.

We tried to go to a 4:30 movie, but it was sold out. So we ended up seeing the 7:00 showing of The Avengers. Loved it! Loved it! Loved it! Squishy brought over both Iron Man movies, Captain America, and The Hulk.

I was set apart for my new calling yesterday, but that deserves a post of its own.

Mother’s Day is observed quite differently in the Beloved tribe than in the Ravelled tribe. I got a text from one of my girls, a voicemail from Secondborn and the Bitties, and the others basically did as I have trained them and ignored the day as far as I was concerned. I wasn’t expecting anything from my new sons and/or their wives because, hey, I’m not their mom. We were able to have Beloved’s mom over to dinner after church, and all three of the boys showed up to honor her (yay!) and to surprise me. Beloved gave me a lovely card at breakfast, and I got cards from my new kids, and a single perfect red rose, and a balloon that made me smile, and a gift card to one of my favorite shops. So, I got surprised but in a nice way, and I got lots of hugs (and they meant it), and Mother’s Day was not the angst-fest which usually goes on inside my head the second Sunday in May.

I love being a mom. I love my kids. And I am glad that I had them, and that they are all speaking to me. (And, I think, to one another; I haven’t heard otherwise and am hoping that no news is good news.) And someday when my computer is reconnected and I can pull up the file, I will treat you to my rant on Mother’s Day which I wrote circa 1994, when All Was Not Well in Ravelled Land.

In knitting news, I spent much of Friday and Saturday swatching for the pillow cover, and by bedtime on Saturday night I knew that I wanted a four-stitch cable that crossed every six rows, and that I wanted the cables to be three stitches apart. Sunday morning (again with the dark-thirty) I did the math and cast on with a fresh ball, after frogging the swatch and setting it aside to relax for a few days. I just finished spit-splicing another ball, and the fabric is glorious and lush and buttery and working up surprisingly fast on 3.0mm needles (a US 2.5, when the ball band suggests US 5-7, or 3.75-4.5mm).

I may be a model of rectitude and comportment in my personal life, but in my knitting life I am definitely a loose woman (like a contralto, who is a low woman who sings, or maybe vice versa).

Tonight we took a devil’s food cake to a going-away party for a former bishop of our ward and his wife. They are moving out to Utah. Then we came home and watched Iron Man, and I knitted some more.

The clock says it is a quarter to midnight. I say I am ready for bed. And tomorrow is ward temple night, but the only way I will get through it is to rev up on Cherry Coke throughout the day.

I can sleep when I’m dead, right?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Crazy-quick post

The Moebius from my birthday yarn is done. I stayed up after coming home from the temple last night to finish binding it off. It is approximately five inches wide and 85 inches in circumference, long enough to wrap three times around my neck. It pleases me inordinately. [Math geek mumbles to herself: if it is inordinately, does that mean it is cardinally?]

I dropped Beloved off at chemo yesterday and picked him up again about 3:00, taking a couple of hours of PT (personal time). He is tired but in good spirits. Snoozing on the bed behind me as we speak. Maybe I should type louder? He is taking his mom for a different kind of PT (physical therapy, for her shoulder) later this morning.

When we got home yesterday afternoon, the KnitPicks order I placed on Friday, which was confirmed on Saturday and shipped on Monday, was here. That is exceptional customer service, even for them! I have entered all three yarns in my stash on Ravelry and have already cast on 51 stitches for a gauge swatch in the City Tweed DK, which looks just as yummy against the chair cushions as I had hoped it would.

Time to put the non-DK yarn into my studio, my swatch into my bag, my lunch into another bag, and my breakfast into my tummy. Hoping for another deliciously productive day at work today. We have an Eagle court of honor to attend tonight. Very much looking forward to that; having birthed five daughters there was a distinct lack of Boy Scouting in our house.

Laissez les bon tricots roulez!

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Queso Raw (So Raw)

With apologies to Doris Day. The lactose-not-intolerant had queso and chips last Friday as part of our office’s Cinco de Mayo celebration. There are still four bags of chips, untouched, atop one of the counters in the break room, and maybe half a dozen containers of salsa in the fridge. [My co-workers went and had a fiesta. And all I got was this stupid pun.]

I slept all night, last night. I went to bed shortly after prayers. Beloved was already asleep. I don’t think I woke up once during the night. “I slept like a rock,” I told him.

“Yeah, a rock that snores just a little,” he chuckled.

Beloved and his buddy have already taken off with the boat, hoping to bring back another great catch. He is trying to get enough fish for a high priests’ social at church; he says it’s been awhile since those brethren and their wives had a proper fish fry.

I’m certainly not going to object. He is even wearing sunscreen. Until a couple of weeks ago, his philosophy was Shake-N-Bake (SPF 2), as skin cancer was the least of his concerns. With the new chemo drug, he is supposed to stay out of the sun as much as possible. So he’s invested in another lightweight, long-sleeved fishing shirt (ventilated in back) and SPF 85.

The birthday girl and her spouse swung by the house last night. She loved the card, and I think she was not displeased with the gift ~ we gave her a gift certificate to the new LYS (local yarn shop).

Dinner last night ~ before the kids got there, much to their chagrin once they found out what we had eaten ~ was smoked salmon, baked sweet potatoes the size of two fists, garlic bread, and grilled baby-Bello mushrooms. There was just enough fish leftover for me to flake into salad, plus a little of the ricotta salata that Beloved grated for dinner a couple of days ago, some grape tomatoes, and a small handful of sliced almonds. I have grapes in the fridge at work which I will add to the mixture and then spritz it with an Asian-inspired balsamic mix.

Bliss!

I will be sustained for a new calling at church on Sunday. But that’s a story for another day. Yes, I only taught three lessons in Relief Society before the bishopric was inspired to put me somewhere else. The gospel is true. The administration thereof is subject to change without (or with minimal) notice. I just try to hang on and keep moving in the right direction. Because, as Orson Scott Card observed, the metaphorical iron rod we are supposed to be grasping as we hand-over-hand our way back Home, can also take us in the opposite direction if we are bound and determined to have our own way. (That would be the Gospel of St. Orson as interpreted by St. Ravelled.)

Robi, thank you for introducing me to my favorite living non-doctrinal LDS author.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Not much happening here.

Lots of knitting. Bills getting paid. Bushels and bushels of laughter. And, on my part, a little irritation. Not with Beloved, who continues to delight. But with our phones (four cordless remotes with a central station, and some spare bits).

I have never liked cordless phones. I try not to answer the phone at all, the legacy of having earned my bread by wrangling calls at switchboard for the greater part of ten years. Occasionally I make a call, and when I do the childbirth words are simmering just under my tongue.

We are gradually adding online access to our various accounts. I am comfortable with this, and Beloved recognizes the necessity of it. He is quite happy to pick up the [@#$%] phone and make a payment by wading through voicemail. I want to log on, show them the money, and log off. Thankfully, we are not cranky with one another in this learning curve.

I tried to make a payment on one of our accounts this morning. Could not access his profile. Customer service was not yet awake. He tried paying it semi-old-school, through the phone, and could not. So we are waiting for customer service, and I am chafing at the bit because I could be done with this already. (Feel free to snicker; laughing at myself is a large part of what keeps me human. I have so many opportunities.)

Robi, I found your blog and have added it to my blog reader. Re: your question about an open house? Not happening, but you and your sweetheart will be getting an invitation to dinner in the reasonably near future. Beloved and I have not done anything major (other than turning the living room and dining room into actual living space); the painting, et al, will happen a little at a time over the next several months. Or, maybe, years. If we waited to start having friends over until the house is finished, it would be a long wait.

Gotta go. Cat is in the house and yowling my name. I just took his in vain, when he jumped up on the bed. He is now out in the living room, mewing pitifully at Beloved. Who is not likely to be any more sympathetic than I was.

Do you think that Beloved would notice if I threw all the phones out the window?

Happy birthday to one of my new daughters (you know who you are)!

Sunday, May 06, 2012

♥Chloe♥

You asked which sculpt I chose for the embodiment of Hope. Chloe. She has a dear little happy face. A lot of people like the pouty dolls. Not me. I didn’t tolerate pouting amongst my children. Blessed if I am going to shell out my hard-earned cash for a little resin sourpuss! And FairyLand has some of the prettiest sculpts around. I ordered her wig from Leeke World in this light brown. And I would have bought her outfit, had it not been sold out. It’s hard to find a dress that comes to the knees, even for the tinies.

Very peaceful and tender funeral yesterday. His sister (my friend) spoke, and there were two bishops and four present or former members of stake presidencies in attendance. I did not know him well, but from what I observed he was truly one of the noble and great ones, trapped for this lifetime in a wheelchair, and now free from physical pain and the sins and stupidities of his fellow mortals. One of the things she said, which I think I will always remember, is that when she goes Home, she will finally get to see how tall her brothers are. (They both died from muscular dystrophy.)

I grabbed lunch on the drive home, and it was a mistake. I went to Pie5 and chose the Athenian, because it has a garlic butter sauce rather than cream-based or from tinned tomatoes. The good news is that I avoided the hives which sometimes attack my ankles. However, the excessively salty feta, picked banana peppers, and Italian sausage conspired to make my ankle blow up, and even after a good night’s sleep and copious quantities of water, it is still swollen, stiff, and cranky, all the way down to my pudgy toes. I should be fine in the morning, and lesson learned.

Our dinner went well last night. Beloved first smoked, then grilled, two chickens which he had split and then laid out under foil-wrapped bricks. Our guests were delightful, and we are all agreed on a rematch. The house looks amazing. We are going to try to keep it that way, but we are pilers who drift in and out of remission.

Beloved is making waffles for breakfast. The first load of dishes from last night is humming away in the dishwasher, and there are not that many awaiting a second load. We looked at one another while relaxing in our chairs, and we agreed that if we were sensible we would load up the dishwasher and then go to bed. But there was something really cool going on with the moon, so we opted to go outside and be moonstruck instead.

I need to figure out what I am taking for church knitting, and then I need to get ready. He will want to leave in 40 minutes. He likes for us to be in the pew half an hour before church begins. This builds character, right? Well, even if it doesn’t, it makes him happy all out of proportion to the extra effort it requires for me to be on time. And if he’s happy, I get waffles.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

So: payday.

Tithing, of course, and then the phone bills. A little extra tucked into savings. And since the next draft for car insurance is scheduled as if we had three cars on the policy, and may not be adjusted before the due date, I subtracted that as well.

Some serious tech issues with the doll site, both here at home (which I figured was possibly an incompatible browser) and on the computer at work (where I shop online on a regular, if discreet, basis). I could not get to the page to pay for the doll who has been on my wish list ~ in a quiet way ~ for two years, as the embodiment of Hope. I kept getting a pop-up in Korean, which might as well have been Sanskrit or the language of Adam and Eve.

So I went to Denver Doll Emporium, where I bought Charity last year when my bonus hit, and I ordered a doll from the same company who made Charity and Chutzpah. At Denver Doll the language is, indisputably, English. I ordered Hope’s wig from another manufacturer, which is one of the advantages of dealing with a large retailer. Charity was in stock, last year. Hope is not. So now the wait begins.

In knitting news, I ordered a soon-to-be-discontinued color of Gloss Lace from Knit Picks, to make a Chanel-inspired sweater whose pattern I have had hanging around for a couple of years. And after dithering over the color for ten minutes or more, I ordered the City Tweed to knit the pillow covers for the Euro size pillows which will go onto each of the wicker chairs in the living room, as back support. Instead of going with that lovely warm yellow, I chose the charcoal grey with cream and tan flecks, which will be more practical in terms of not showing dirt, and which picks up more of the colors in the seat cushions. I chose the cheapest shipping rate, so that package will be here when it gets here, giving me time to start and finish both Moebii.

Last night after the ward picnic, we shoved the last few boxes which were in the dining room, into the middle bedroom. This morning I moved the boxes that have been in the hallway. Next up are the boxes in the living room, all or most of which contain kitchen stuff. And if there is time before I leave for a funeral in my old ward in Fort Worth, I will finish what Beloved began in terms of reorganizing what’s on the steel shelving in the kitchen.

This morning he will be mowing the back yard, edging the front yard, vacuuming the newly freed-up carpet, and getting the haircut he has been promising himself for weeks. On my way home from Fort Worth, I will pick up birthday gifts for two of my new daughters. I already have the cards.

We have friends coming to dinner late this afternoon. And after they leave for her stake’s Saturday night session of stake conference, Beloved and I will turn off the phones and crash early.

Happy Saturday, everybody!

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Hair today, gone tomorrow.

Sent to my co-workers before I left on Tuesday: One of the joys of growing out my hair is that I now get to collect all sorts of pretty things to keep my bangs out of my eyes. I bought two packages of “ouchless” elastic headbands this past weekend. If my hair were a bronco and the elastic were a cowboy, said cowboy did not last eight seconds before getting bucked off. If this sort of headband works for you, please come help yourself. They’re on my desk. If nobody wants them, I’ll donate them to charity on my way home tonight.

Most of them were gone when I got back to work yesterday. The rest were gone by lunchtime. And one of my friends brought me a package of the little pinchy butterfly clasps that don’t work for her since she grew her hair out, but which are nearly perfect for me.

Beloved and I spent most of last night conjoining two storage shelf units.  We didn’t get the placement of the shelves exactly right, but if we are clever and patient, we can raise some and lower others without taking everything apart again. It was an interesting exercise in refining our communication skills. I’m thinking we’re good to replace the linoleum in the guest bathroom, but maybe not to repaper any walls. Good thing I’m not excessively fond of wallpaper.

When I woke up this morning, I took most of the stuff we piled onto the dining room table last night and found places for it on the shelves. I didn’t get as far as emptying out the improvised cupboards in the kitchen (one of which was the old home for the microwave), but I ran out of steam after being on my feet for the better part of an hour. He will get that knocked out in half an hour or so, after breakfast, and after I have showered and left for work. Which I had better do now if I want to be at work on time.

Once he has cleared the decks in the kitchen, today’s big project is the making of several cheesecakes, including two or more small ones (my-size) using Greek yogurt and goat cheese crumbles to approximate sour cream and cream cheese. He’s happy when he’s cooking. And now some of our cooking stuff is a tad more organized, or at least all in one place.

We are agreed that we want some storage baskets for in there, to hold the rolls of foil, etc., and to corral the various bits for his vacuum sealer. I am thinking that a trip to World Market would be a good idea, although I will have to stop at the Container Store on the way home for more of the shelf liner thingies.

The eagle screams tomorrow. I had to squelch a squee when I saw the size of my paycheck. Can’t wait to write that tithing check, throw something into savings, pay down our debt, and have a wee spending spree. Beloved is getting those new britches from Cabela’s that he has been wanting, if I have to drag him in there bodily. He has to take his mom to the airport later this month for her quarterly checkup and to visit her other kids, and we do not want a repeat of his pants heading south when he removes his belt at airport security. (Yes, he has lost that much weight since his diagnosis last year.)

This is the part where I figure out what I am going to wear this morning. Decisions, decisions.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Give me a U!

Give me a T! Give me an I! What’s it spell? Macrobid! What’s it spell? Macrobid! What’s it spell? A $30 co-payment and $10 at the drive-up window of my pharmacy.

When I wake up most mornings, I have the slightest of backaches, more pronounced on those days when I’ve had too much salt the day before. A glass or two of water, and it goes away. Sometimes a little lemon juice in the water makes it go away faster. But this morning it was still there, about midway between the bottom of my bra band and where my waist used to be, about four hours after I got up.

Hrmm, I say to myself, I think that is where my kidneys might be lurking. I wonder if they are unhappy about something? It wasn’t the sharp rolling waves of pain I remembered from when my gall bladder revolted in 2001. It wasn’t the dull nausea from when I had hepatitis in 1979. It was just there, like a fine shred of pot roast caught between two molars. Something a little bit off, barely enough to notice, but I did. And so I did a most un-Ravelled thing: I picked up my cell phone and called my doctor’s office and requested an appointment.

Two hours later I was sitting in the waiting room, chatting with a most delightful elderly woman who used to knit and embroider, while we waited to be called back to the examining rooms. (Note to self: be a delightful elderly woman when 90 rolls around. People enjoy that!)

The doctor confirmed that what I was feeling, was not all in my head. Slight traces of blood and leukocytes in the sample I gave them. While I am not entirely thrilled to be on antibiotics for the next week, I am intrigued by a possible side effect: “May cause discoloration of the urine or feces.”

My vote is for magenta with turquoise spots.

I came home, had some leftover lobster ravioli and a carton of Greek yogurt, and took a nap. When I awoke, Beloved was back from Costco with, among other things, a vat of cranberry juice. He has fired up our new grill and is baking potatoes out there as we speak. I heard a rumor there will be steak for dinner.

And I have gotten a whale of a lot of knitting done today. I’ve reworked the yarn I frogged on Sunday night (or maybe yesterday morning); the Moebius cowl is somewhere between six and eight inches wide. I may very well finish it tonight and get the original Moebius cast onto a Knit Picks circ with one of the new needle tips I bought on Saturday.

After dinner, we are emptying out the Shelf Reliance storage rack, moving the microwave onto the counter temporarily, moving the tall crate upon which it now resides, sweeping and mopping that part of the kitchen floor, and moving the storage rack over there. Then we will roll the tall shelving unit into the corner, making room for a second unit which Beloved will pick up and assemble while I am back at work tomorrow, which means that I can empty out the half-dozen or so boxes still in the living room and put their contents to use. We are also planning to move the boxes that are currently in the dining room, into the middle bedroom. Tonight, after he disassembles the bed whose mattress we removed and bagged up last night before crashing.

Not bad for a guy who is allegedly terminally ill (did I mention his cancer cell count is down 83 from last month?) and a woman with a kidney infection (!) who just tries to keep up with him. And now if you will all excuse me, I need to top off my glass of cranberry juice and see what mischief Beloved is up to.